Standard 9 – Duplication
Standard 9 relates to Section B: 1.1, 2.1, 2.2 and 3.1 of the National course document template.
As accredited VET courses are developed to meet vocational skill requirements not already covered in nationally endorsed VET training packages, ASQA cannot accredit or renew a course if the proposed course outcomes are already covered by a training package.
Standard 9 requires the course owner to make sure that the proposed course does not duplicate either the title or the outcomes of an existing training package, accredited course or skill set.
Australia currently has a number of endorsed training packages, developed by Industry Reference Committees to meet the training needs of an industry or group of industries. These packages consist of qualifications, skill sets and units of competency.
It is important to check that none of these provide the same outcomes as your proposed VET accredited course. A good way to research existing training package outcomes is to search key words on the national register.
It is also possible that another accredited course may have already been developed, which provides the same outcomes as your proposed course. This does not necessarily prevent accreditation of your proposed course, but you may be able to use the existing course instead of developing a new one for accreditation. Some course owners agree to share or license their course to interested parties. You can contact the relevant course owner direct to find out if they are willing to licence their course to you. Course owner details are published on the national register.
Duplication of qualifications
Training packages often provide students with flexibility in the units of competency needed to gain a qualification. For example, the packaging rules, which set out what units of competency are needed to gain a particular qualification, may allow students to choose from a large selection of electives from another training package or accredited course.
It is important to take this into account when checking to make sure your proposed course does not duplicate existing training package outcomes.
ASQA cannot accredit a course if:
- it provides the same outcomes that students could achieve through the packaging rules of a training package or accredited course, e.g. undertaking electives from another course
- it is a subset of a single training package qualification that could be recognised through a statement of attainment (i.e. partial completion of the existing qualification)
- it duplicates a training package qualification and includes additional units of competency from a training package or accredited course that could be recognised through a statement of attainment.
Duplication of units of competency
Training package units of competency often address transferrable skills that can be used across a range of different contexts and courses. For example, a communication unit from the BSB Business Services Training Package could be used in many different courses. The training provider can then deliver the unit within the relevant context of their course or industry, while still maintaining the unit’s integrity.
Some training package implementation guides include rules that advise training providers how to contextualise training and assessment of units of competency from that package.
The ‘application’ section of a training package unit of competency, published on the national register, may also include information on whether the unit is suitable for cross-sector training and assessment.
Providing evidence with your application
The application for accreditation (initial or renewal) requires you to describe the process undertaken to ensure the proposed course does not duplicate training package content.
Case study – Avoiding training package development duplication for a proposed course
Queensland Mines Rescue Service Limited would like to develop a course in Underground Coal Mines Emergency Response and Rescue.
The organisation reviews the National Register to identify qualifications, skills sets and units of competency that may achieve the same outcome. It finds the following products that require further investigation.
- RII30719 Certificate III in Emergency Response and Rescue
Units of competency:
- HLTAID011 Provide first aid
- PUATES001 Work in a team
- RIIERR302E Respond to local emergencies and incidents
- RIIERR201E Conduct fire team operations
- PUAFIR207 Operate breathing apparatus open circuit
- RIIERR303E Operate in self-contained regenerative oxygen breathing apparatus
- RIIERR305E Control underground fires
- RIIERR306E Conduct underground searches
- RIIEERR307E Extricate casualties from underground incidents
- RIIERR309D Establish and operate from fresh air base
Queensland Mines Rescue Service Limited conducts a thorough investigation into whether the training package qualification is a suitable training product to meet its needs, but identifies the qualification does not address the specialist skills and knowledge required by emergency response team members in an underground coal mine environment.
The organisation determines that the training package units of competency relate to the intended outcomes of its proposed course and are suitable for inclusion. But it also identified that some additional units (enterprise units) specifically related to underground coal mine response and rescue needed to be developed.
Once Queensland Mines Rescue Service Limited have developed the packaging rules for the course, it continues with its consultation and validation activities to confirm the proposed course does not duplicate training package outcomes. The organisation conducted consultation and validation activities including reviewing and gathering feedback on the course content from the relevant IRC and key stakeholders including major employers, union representatives and industry regulators. As a result the organisation restructured the course, removing some units and developing new ones. The organisation provided evidence of these activities in the form of copies of emails, minutes of meetings, letters of support, marked- up copies of the course description including enterprise units of competency showing suggested changes.
Note: This case is modelled on the current accredited course 10876NAT Certificate III in Underground Coal Mines Emergency Response and Rescue. The course owner, Queensland Mines Rescue Service Limited granted permission for ASQA to use this information.
- Training.gov.au – the register of nationally endorsed training package qualifications, units of competency and accredited courses in Australia.